Sizing Up Big Data, Broadening Beyond the Internet

Description:  Today, data tools and techniques are used for tasks as varied as predicting neighborhood blocks where crimes are most likely to occur and injecting intelligence into hulking industrial machines, like electrical power generators.


Date: June 19, 2013


Looking for a better use for his skills, Mr. Hammerbacher departed to Silicon Valley less than a year later and joined Facebook. He started a team that began to mine the vast amounts of social network data Facebook was collecting for insights on how to tweak the service and target ads. He called himself and his co-workers “data scientists,” a term that has since become the hottest of job categories.

Facebook was a fabulous petri dish for data science. Yet after two and a half years, Mr. Hammerbacher decided it was time to move on, beyond social networks and Internet advertising. He became a founder of Cloudera, a start-up that makes software tools for data scientists. READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1. How would you describe to someone “What Big Data is?”

2.  What fields do you think Big Data will have the biggest impact?  The least impact?


44 thoughts on “Sizing Up Big Data, Broadening Beyond the Internet

  1. Lance Rosen

    Big Data is large amounts of data collected by many different programs and utilities, which is then analysed and used for gain. The article describes big data as ‘a vague term, used loosely’, but a term that encompasses three ideas: “First, it is a bundle of technologies. Second, it is a potential revolution in measurement. And third, it is a point of view, or philosophy, about how decisions will be — and perhaps should be — made in the future.”

    I personally thing that many fields will be greatly impacted. From industry to Retail, this technology has the ability to make a huge impact in all of these fields / markets. Wherever there is data, there Big Data will be. Even sports teams could use it for strategy and merchandising.

  2. Ruzaan du Ploot

    Big Data is the introduction to incredibly large amounts of information being collected and used for use, this can be considered secondary information. The information can be used in a social context as well as in a more professional manner. The information that goes into this, is decoded and generated and available for easy use. The article talks about Big Data being the label for the phenomenon, which embraces technology, decision-making and public policy. It sounds as if this information can be used on a big scale and even perhaps be a help to people. I think perhaps one day Big Data will perhaps be as popular and successful as Youtube or Facebook. Aside from popularity, it would be a huge help within the health industry. I really enjoyed reading about the genetic mapping, putting the common trends together for the doctors to be able to come up with a quick and easy diagnosis. Although books do this of course, having this technology at the click of a button will defiantly increase the time spent with patients. Although there is a fear that arises when so much of our decision making is based on technology. Many companies within Canada and other countries are dependent on Big Data. Many companies cannot function without technology, and it has dramatically changed how each of us live our lives.

  3. Bryan Litchfield

    Big Data can be described as the large amounts of data being collected and used for analytical purposes. This can be collected via social media, internet use, medical databases, etc. and stored on large databases to await interpretation. Information from each user, customer, patient, or whatever the case may be, is collected and stored in these databases. This data can then be interpreted and used to for many different purposes whether that be medical purposes such as mapping genetics, or marketing purposes to identify consumer patterns. As analytical software becomes more advanced and available for use Big Data will continue to be mined in whatever the field of study may be. Areas that this can have the largest benefit are those already mentioned such as medical research and diagnostics, and large marketing agencies. By understanding data concerning certain medical conditions doctors are able to make quicker and better diagnostics leading to a cheaper and more efficient health care system. Marketing agencies are able to target individuals to better suit there needs, making shopping a quicker and easier process. This Big Data idea may not work in every field though. There are some markets or areas of study where there is just not enough data to be collected making it near useless. In the case of a supplier with only one customer, they do not need to collect large amounts of data to know what the customers needs are, they can ask that customer directly and receive instant feedback. In today’s advanced business world, understanding Big Data could be that one thing that gives you an advantage over your competitors.

  4. Annalise Janhunen

    The term Big Data as described by the articles is as follows, “First, it is a bundle of technologies. Second, it is a potential revolution in measurement. And third, it is a point of view, or philosophy, about how decisions will be — and perhaps should be — made in the future.” Based on this brief description and on the article, Big Data is the advancement of technology being used to collect data of many types in today’s ever-changing world. Big Data can be used by any organization who needs information about various things.
    Since information is so sought after in todays society I believe that Big Data will be and can be used by any industry. It will make a huge impact on the scope of what a business can do and may even lead to an organization gaining a competitive advantage.

  5. Alex Schow

    Big data from what I have learned is a a collection of such a large amount of data that it becomes harder to work with as the data continues to grow. However, the article described big data is as follows: “Big Data is the shorthand label for the phenomenon, which embraces technology, decision-making and public policy.” So my idea of big data is information that can be used on such a scale that could affect many numerous amounts of people. Such examples like facebook bloggers and youtube are all good examples. I think that big data could eventually have the best impact when talking about health and science. I like the example given in the article about genetic mapping. Being able to see the common trends and patterns in health and science could help doctors in diagnosing sickness a lot faster and bring with it greater accuracy. I think that big data whe related to something small like peoples favorite gas stations could become a little redundant because people genarlly as a whole just need gas. There aren’t too many extraneous circumstances that are involved. They simply go get gas and leave. I think that list areas that are at high risk for crime are great ideas. Other items that could be of great value when speaking of big data could be that of the social networking area. As often as we try to minimize the effect that these companies have, we cannot hide that fact that they are all becoming incredibly powerful and need to have some observance as to how all of the data is used.

  6. victor olayioye

    I personally see big data has a phenomenon that has come to stay in this ever changing world of ours.I would explain big data to someone as a huge amount of data you can find on the internet which influences our everyday life e.g our decision making and adjusting the way we carry out our activities to suit the changing world. Just like every other development Big data has pros and cons. On the positive side i think big data has made human efforts a lot minimal in getting work done and also has improved the society technologically. Meanwhile on the negative side i feel people who use this big data have no privacy whatsoever as all their personal information is simply on display for whosoever cares to view them, which could be dangerous if they fall to in wrong hand. We can see examples of how people use the Global Positioning System popularly known as GYPS to track the location of people in minutes. I personally think this Big Data is a benchmark to which our decisions from now and in the nearest future will be tailored towards.

  7. Joel Heyland

    Big data refers to those who have embraced the technologies that allow them to collect, analyze, and benefit from mass amounts of data and information contained in databases. Big data is a modern phenomena that exists because of advancements in the IT world such as the “web.” Companies down to the trained individual can use technology such as software to research collected data, and make practical decisions off of discoveries they find. A practical example of this was the NFL coach case. Coaches could use specially designed computers containing mass amounts of video footage and player information, and then by using software programs could quickly filter through the data and find specific videos/written information based off of different variables (i.e. a player’s position, or a team name, a specific month/year, etc) inputed by the coach. I think all fields will be impacted by big data, or “data mining.” I saw the other day in another university course a photograph of a terrorist group launching a rocket using an apple iPad in the process. I think “data mining” will be a process used for right and wrong, just as all other technology and existing products are. Some fields that would benefit the most in my mind are; sales and marketing (number crunching professions), researchers in any field (genealogy to genetics), human resources. Fields that may experience less benefit; visual artists, beauty and cosmetology, interior designers, landscapers, etc. (Professions that don’t require a lot of math, or require a human eye/touch)

  8. Nicolle Keim

    The Big Data in simple terms means accepting technology as a whole and how it affects us. It has revolutionized the way we live and has impacted our decision making of the future. Since technology is growing extensively at thirty percent a year, it changes things drastically. Even though I am in my twenties, I feel technology has advanced me. I don’t know as much about technology as I once did, and this can be a huge disadvantage. With the technology market increasing, it creates a lot of new jobs. Fields such as data technicians or anything to do with technology are going to be impacted by the Big Data. Because information systems and technologies are being highly advanced at a remarkable speed, people are going to need help with how to use it. People like me that are not technically advanced will need guidance to protect them. Learning about all this data and new software’s is not easily done by reading a manual. That is why companies such as the Geek Squad are becoming very profitable. Technology is growing so fast that individuals and companies need support in setting up new technologies, new software’s or even getting rid of a virus. I personally think that every company within Canada is dramatically affected by Big Data. Many companies cannot run their business without technology. Technology has altered the way of doing business so much, that without it a company cannot be profitable or even communicate with their suppliers or customers.

  9. Jessika Hayward

    Big Data is a collection of information on the internet that can be taken by companies to analyze and interpret the information they reciece about people. It is a large database with all kinds of information that is retrieved any time you sign on to the web. This is a very successful way to find out what people want, when they want it and how much of it. It can help companies find out which demographic is interested in certain products. It is such a large system and shows how everytime we sign on, we also are leaving soemthing behind. Like clicking on an advertisment or googling something. Marketers would probably find great use in this system because they can use it to their advantage when they are trying to promote a product or service. Being able to use this data in order to find out what the consumers wants is a huge advantage in that industry.
    Crime investigation has also seen an impact with Big Data because when a crime is commited they are able to run through DNA information and also find a match in some cases because there is such a high number of information in the database. This will help solve crime in the future because the chance of finding the criminal will increase with an exact match to prove it. This shows how our privacy is slowly being taken away from us

  10. Jesslyn Strand

    After reading the article, “Big Data” is a term used for the improving changes in technology. It includes bundle of technologies which include data, both new and old. This data includes all sorts of technologies starting with the basics of what was used to reply to this article, web pages and search engines for example. It also includes your smart phone, which now a days everyone has, the GPS’s and social media sites. These are just some examples of bundles of technologies which is the first thing that makes up ‘Big Data.’ Next is a potential resolution in measurements. This is basically the increasing volume of data and the variety software has provided us. This helps predict or measure things that weren’t possible before. Lastly, ‘Big Data’ includes how decisions will be or should be made in the future. This is a point of view r philosophy. With the improving technologies, it allows decisions to be made based on data. More scientific and proven rather than intuition. ‘Big data’ will eventually help shape the world by replacing ideas and organizations with the help of data and analysis. If it is used in moderation and control, there are huge benefits that could change society forever. With the increasing change of internet and information systems, ‘Big Data’ can change and increase the maximum potential of technology.

  11. Lyndsey Schultz

    “Big Data” to me is a group of people who take into consideration a large volume of data collected and analized to determine similarities and differences in different aspects of everyones “day to day” processes. I feel as though “Big Data” will have a significant impact in a wide range of fields, especially in the field of medical advancement. We as a society, have a great deal to learn when it comes to medical solutions and preventions. “Big Data” wil help with the collection of data and find similarities in this data to find solutions to problems.

  12. Daniel Reina

    1. How would you describe to someone “What Big Data is?”
    To me Big Data is a huge amount of data that is being analyzed and transformed into information that will and are having a big impact in many aspects of society. As the article suggests, fields like medicine, crime, machinery etc. All possible through the processing power of new technologies and also new discoveries. It is the new way to measure and see patterns, and will be a source of information on how decisions will be made.

    2. What fields do you think Big Data will have the biggest impact? The least impact?
    All fields that require decision making will be affected greatly. Managers and people who are interested in data that will help them improve performance, bring down costs etc. It can also affect all of us. Because from poor to wealthy people now have more access to technologies. There is a risk of misinterpretation of data that can negatively impact individuals. On the other hand, as Big data is used for the benefit of humanity, health research for example, everyone can benefit as we reap the rewards of discovery through the analysis of how our body works. I think those least impacted are those people who are more distant from technology. I am thinking of poor, poor, countries who are far from having as much access to technologies that connect them to Big Data.

  13. Aaron Audette

    Big data is a bundle of technologies which has the potential to revolutionize measurement and is a point of view or philosophy about how decisions will be and should be made in the future.
    This break through will help to improve scientific discovery as well as modern medicine advancements that would make certain functions much more accurate and cheap. By lowering costs of work the American population may have a better chance at universal health care, This lacking social program is an extremely hot button issues currently with no clear winner in site. Big data will mainly impact those but will also impact daily lives of citizens world wide on a lower level. Things like availability to information and communication improvements will be among the more trivial impacts.

  14. Joanne

    After reading the article and thinking about what it means to me, is actually straight forward. Technology is changing in a way that is getting more invasive and microscopic so to speak.Big Data to me is the the outline of our genetic habits, who, what, where, and how we do things is what they are heading towards with the software they are currently creating.

    I think that, “Big Data,” will have a impact in all fileds of life if it is a program software that is going to be able to scrutinize our every move with the choices we make. It is a sense of surveillance on all, which actually will have the biggest impact on our Privacy. As for having the least impact i dont believe there would be not one company that wouldnt benefit from this software.

  15. Jeffrey Jensen

    Questions for discussion:

    1. How would you describe to someone “What Big Data is?”

    2. What fields do you think Big Data will have the biggest impact? The least impact?

    I would explain Big Data as an infinite source of information that grows with each passing day. This data can be used to help society but also to manipulated it as it contains a lot of personal information. As explained this info can be used to make strong break through in science and medicine but it can also be used to give the correct ad to the correct person. In the wrong hands this data can be abused and to be honest I personally do not feel like this data isn’t really that protected I mean this guy had a job for 2 and a half years just data mining Facebook and social networks. People give so much up on social networks that it really is scary and the fact that anyone can go in with certain privileges and mine that info for personal use is really an overstep on my rights to privacy.

    Big Data will have the biggest impact on the advertisement of products and medicine. This is because it leads into the human traits and habits and we can use those for good and bad but will still have a huge impact. I think the least impacted works of Big data would be more social networks or small business that are just trying to make a quick buck off society.

  16. Anthony

    The way I understand Big Data is the ability to collect massive amounts of data through technology and using this to make decisions and possibly change the way we see things in the future. The points mentioned in the article really demonstrate just how quickly the world is moving forward. I had never before thought about how using Big Data and algorithms would be so useful in the medical field. I think Big Data will have an impact on all fields of work in the future. The fields where Big Data is not used will be the fields that are in dying industries on their way out the door. The privacy issue definitely raises an important issue as well. Just how much of this data can be used by anyone? How can we really know if what we search on the internet, whether it is a harmless deep fryer or model of car, can actually affect the rest of our lives? I think if it comes to that point people will start to wonder if the good that comes from the availability of these massive amounts of data is actually worth it. I am a believer that with every great movement forward in technology and society there are always people there to take advantage of the system and others. In reality it is hard to say what will come of this in the near future. But one thing is for sure the future is coming and very quickly.

    1. Anthony

      After reading this article I have come to the cunclusion that I must become more aware of ways to use this Big Data in my futuree industry as well. Or, as I had stated above, I will be left behind.

  17. Shannon Storey

    Big data is something that I never really paid attention to or tried to understand. I knew that all this information was out there but did little to check it out. However it cannot be ignored because technology is continuing to change at a rapid rate. Big data is the collection and interpretation of loads and loads of information. This information is collected from many sources, the internet being one of the largest. Society as a whole is pretty open to filling in information when signing up to a website or ordering something off the internet. We rarely think about the information that we are putting out there and what criminal activities that information could be used for.
    Big data is impacting all sorts of areas. As this area continues to evolve and expand more and more fields will be using it and gleaning information from it. I think that most fields are able to find value in big data and use it to benefit their businesses.
    The problem that I see from my limited investigation of this article is that even though there are many benefits to Big Data it also comes with some dangers. The sheer amount of information that is being created and mined is scary and it opens the doors to risks that likely even the most involved are not aware of yet. With all advances of technology and the benefits that come with it, we also run the risk of opening ourselves up to negative possibilities as well.

  18. Richard Reimer

    We live in the year 2013, all our lives work around technology, and it is everywhere we go. Now more than ever we can see how technology is making our lives easier, for example, we can look at our computers, cars, manufactures, etc. All this new technology is making our lives more efficient. Big Data wants to use all the current technology that we have now and what is being made to create a gigantic database, in which information will be stored about everything that can produce some kind of data. For example, weather, car industry, genetics, and millions of other things. They will use the data collected to make prognostications about how to make better decision now, so the whole population can have a better future.

    I believe that the data scientist will focus primarily on weather because any changes in the atmosphere will lead us to analyze the changes and the reasons for these changes. If any changes are happening, the data scientist will have to look at the data we have on factories, and see how they operate, and if changes are needed, they can advise in a more environmentally friendly strategy. This is just one example of the many causes there can be for a change in the weather. Another important point Big data will focus on is at the business and the economy as a whole. If sufficient data can be gathered and analyzed thoroughly, prognostications can be made, which will allow business to choose better strategies, and with that be more successful.

  19. Emily Gedlaman

    This is the first I had heard of Big Data. It could be described as a revolutionary data base which provides huge technological advance in the collection, storage and application of information and data. It results in an extremely innovative change to the way we make decisions. Data mining is taken to a new level, and the way that data is used as well. For example, analysis of our internet use, or social media use. I think the concept sounds quite incredible. However, like with any dramatic changes, there are risks involved. In my opinion, the most frightening aspect of Big Data is the removal of the human component in data mining/analysis and consequently in decision making. This could be viewed as a positive aspect, because of the increase in accuracy and the removal of human error. But we also could argue that the automatic nature could rob decisions of ethics and morals which are not taken into account by technology. In the article, the writer states that the risks are seen as being manageable, and the benefits far outweigh them.

    I think many fields would benefit from Big Data, and truthfully, I can’t think of any specific industries that I think would not benefit from it. As is explored in the article, I think the field of medicine could see profound advances in research and development of treatments, as well as discovering conditions and identifying risks. Additionally, the business sector would benefit in about every division. Management, accounting, statistic analysis, economic theories and marketing are all examples of industries which will see huge growth because of Big Data.

  20. Jing.Li

    The majority of fields use data to support their business. Things need to analyse and divisions need to make. In a high-tech age, Internet and some other tools, in a large extent, are used for helping people to live a better life. Big data, as I am considered, is a data connection system to make everyone get related.  At this point, data everywhere. Thanks for the high technology, people can be contacted from around the world.  Data  plays an essential role in many fields, for instance, scientific studies, retail stores, banks or social media. Retail stores collect data to know their storage. Banks collect data to analyse the interest rate and customer records.  In social media field, people use data base to rank the popular degree of media. For instance, audience rating, customer expectation, and advertising efficiency are the huge part of the data analysis. The huge data base helps companies run efficiently and effectively.  

    Companies make decisions by collecting and analyzing data. In an organization, people use data to analyse the stock trend and customer preference. In order to make a better decision, some companies hire experts to do analysis work. In some area, for example, financial analyst are the people who face data everyday. Furthermore, they make financial plan to help companies’ operation. Data is becoming their intangible capital, helping them know more about their customers and their business.  Furthermore, customers also get the latest information from data. As can be seen, there is mutual benefit between company and customer.

  21. Jing.Li

    Big data, as I am considered, is a data connection system to make everyone get related.  At this point, data everywhere.  Data  plays an essential role in many fields, for instance, scientific studies, retail stores, or social media.  The huge data base helps companies run efficiently and effectively.  Companies make decisions by collecting and analyzing data. Data is becoming their intangible capital, helping them know more about their customers and their business.  Furthermore, customers also get the latest information from data. As can be seen, there is mutual benefit between company and customer.    

  22. Shine Landayan

    The “Big Data” is not that bad of a thing but it’s not a good thing either, it has pros and cons. In this world, technology has been evolving quite rapidly so I don’t think we can stop it from growing. The fact that it makes our living easier is the best thing that it can give. Imagine if we still live in the stone age and you still have to hunt for animals and kill and chop them by ourselves so we could eat, when you have to go talk to someone and there’s no email that you could use so you will have to walk even if it’s far to get to that person, if when you’re sick and all you have are medicinal leaves that you still have to cook or something to drink it as a medicine. Don’t you agree that our life now is way easier because of technology? The article talked about making our technology which regards to medical grow bigger. If it’s gonna save people money, why not, right? However, if technology grows bigger, the privacy of people might be more at risk. I mean there are already a lot of scammers in our century that use technology, how much more when technology really grows bigger. They will find easier way to scam more people.

  23. Scott Eriksen

    Big Data is essentially a potential Goliath in the research industry. It is a near endless collection of information that has the potential to solve, or work with many of the world’s biggest problems and fears.
    Although the possibilities for data collection and mining in the future seem bright, it can be left to question the ethics and morality of these methods. The article references the fact that in the near future, every persons every action and routine could potentially be monitored for data collection, which is a frightening thought-our future holds little privacy.
    There are the good points as mentioned in this article as well, such as medical studies. I believe the positive potential far outweighs the negative potential, and being somewhat literate in this field is an asset that will grab the attention of almost any business organization, and could be a great jump forward in any job search. Companies and corporations from this point forward will be using data collection and analysis in decision making, as many have already started. The world is changing, and any individual would be wise to educate themselves on hpw they can have a part in this global data impact.

  24. Ryan Gladun

    The term “big data” is used to describe the growing rate of which data is collected, analyzed and available. This would be very useful for everyone, but particularly businesses. The businesses can sort through thousands of people and advertise specifically to certain groups of people. Companies can get feedback from their products almost instantly at the point of purchasing. This allows them to watch stock, choose prices that will clear inventory maximizing profits, where to put new locations. The list can go on, but it is my belief that when big data is used effectively, it will enhance everyday life.

  25. Sandro Moser

    Explaining “Big Data” to someone I would start by saying its everyone and everything. Everything we do whether it be surfing online, or going to the gym sends signals of data that can be recorded for useful information. Which creates all sorts of data, although the biggest question is how do you access all this data. The fields or industries that potentially can get effected by this “Big Data” generation would be almost everything. For example medical, manufacturing, and advertising can all be positively effected by accessing big data sources and acquiring useful information to make better informative decisions. I feel that people will be against accessing and creating software to read “Big Data” because their privacy will be violated. What they don’t realize is that this could benefit us drastically, and if your so against loosing some of your privacy then you have something to hide.

  26. Katie

    This is the first I have heard of this introduction of Big Data. I feel it will certainly alter the way we make decisions in the future. Everything will be done electronically and people will no longer think for themselves but rely on technology even more! Making the big decisions will be easier since it is ultimately bringing all the information from around the world to a single point to be looked through. One security issue would be around the advances and increases in things like cybercrime, I can see a lot of concern about what would happen if these criminals would do if they could gain access to if Big Data. Even though there is already so much personal information on the internet, it could be even easier for criminals if this information was all saved in one location. Since our generation relies so heavily on technology it could be scary thought. Businesses such as in marketing sectors already have the ability to access all this kind of data to target their consumers. This Big Data how ever would enable businesses to be even more efficient and make more money. With this, I feel that the business sector would benefit the most from this rather than private ones. Instead of having each individual department analyse a massive ton of information in a certain area, they can have it enhanced and simplified just by using Big Data.

  27. Priya Boyal

    I would describe to someone that “Big Data” is an assembly of all old and new sets of information accessible to help increase efficiency and reduce risks. It would allow for individuals to make better decisions and replace thoughts and assumptions with science. “Big Data,” would be a huge database that would transform many aspects of everyday life. Reliance on technology is present in all fields, and there are many industries in which “Big Data” would make a huge impact.

    “Big Data” would be highly beneficial in the field of medicine. There are many complex factors that all contribute to someone’s health. With a large database, all this information can be stored and when brought up compared to historical similarities. “Big Data” would be beneficial to medical research and would also reduce the risks associated with it. This technology allows for a huge collection of data and the ability to analyse it altogether. This technology will increase knowledge and awareness and as a result could lead to finding solutions or treatments.

    Businesses would also highly benefit from “Big Data” and it would be helpful throughout all sectors from Accounting to Human Resources. A massive database would allow for managers to make better decisions based on facts and science, and reduce risks that would normally be taken.

    In all fields, “Big Data” will have a unique impact.

  28. Ellen Sparling

    Big Data could be considered an overwhelmingly large amount of data that could be difficult to process. It is often analyzed and researched in order to interpret what is happening, such as trending. It has shown to be popular when referring to the amount of data held on the internet- such as by the social media site Facebook. That being said- it is also used in other fields as well. By using a vast amount of data, you are able to store, data mine, and collect information.

  29. Kris Moore

    Big Data could be described as the collection and measurement of countless technologies, information, and data which can be interpreted in such a way that can aid in the development of some managerial decisions in the future. It is the combination of years and years of data mining, collection, storage and the interpretation of this data that allows this database to be such a large tool in making business and managerial decisions for a company. A company can interpret this database by using specialized software to look for trends, patterns and correlation between information present in the database, and can create a report that in relative to the type of business the company is running.
    Big Data can be used by all fields of the business world. An example is a marketing firm gathering internet search history from the past three years with a certain key term, and interpreting this data in a certain way which allows them for competitive advantage over their competitors. Big Data interpretation is especially large in the business sector as there is countless sources of data that can be of help while making large managerial decisions for your company. Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, and Operations can all value from partaking in the interpretation of Big Data. Such a huge, resourceful database is hard to turn down while trying to make managerial decisions, however, one must first know how to property search and organize this mass amount of data or there will be many redundant sources of data included in the study than is actually relevant to a manager in certain situations.

  30. Stephen Ross

    “Big Data” is the combination of all the forms of data mining, storage and collection. It is essentially the collection of all the forms of data that have been developed over the years of the information age. This becomes a vast amount of data acquired and therefore a vast database.

    I think a very interesting idea the article brought up is that this could be applied to the field of medicine, and more specifically genetics. A human’s genome is massive and to be able to gather all of this information and be able to identify possible future issues for a person before they have even encountered them is quite a feat. Also big data could have massive implications for the advertisement industry. The ability to find almost anything on a person could make the already very accurate online advertisement industry even more accurate.

    I am having a difficult time identifying an industry that would not benefit from an enormous database. When is knowledge not power?

  31. Nicole Toth

    I would describe “Big Data” as an upcoming technological advance that allows the combining of all the new and old data found on the Internet and other electronic sources (bundle of technologies). It would allow us to find patterns or make connections about life that we never could before (revolution in measurement) and would change our point of view on life. Having “Big Data” will change the way we make decision, from experience and intuition to strictly data and analysis. Simply put, “Big Data” is the joining of all the worlds’ data, to make connections and help with decision-making. It would completely change the business and scientific world in which we live. Helping business to become more efficient, productive, and profitable. The advertising industry will substantially benefit and has already benefited by targeting consumers through the Internet (Facebook). Things will be entirely based on facts/statistics than human responses. Although “Big Data” could possibly improve the world in which we live in, it could also cause us to be too reliant on having access to such data and technology. It will also raise an issue on who should be given access to such substantial amounts of data, leading to privacy issues. With the increasing rise of cybercrime, it raises a big concern to what criminals could do if they ever got access to “Big Data”. It is kind of scary to think how much information we already have on the Internet and what it would mean if all this information on an individual were compiled in one location. It would lead to zero privacy and your personal identity would be at extreme risk.

  32. Tina Brown

    Big data is looking at data the individually means very little, such as someone’s online internet surfing history and taking all that information to try and look at trends, demographic profiling and consumer profiling. I liken it to taking all the sand on the beach and trying to make a sand castle.

    Big data is at a tipping point and those who are mathematically minded are trying to take those grains of sand and interpret them to make some sort of sense.

    I can see how this type of data analysis can help in a variety of situations (sales, interest in products that don’t result in sales, political campaigning, non profit/social analysis, even product test marketing and development). I think it is also fair to say that this analysis is being conducted without the individual’s explicit permission and while individually it may not be identifiable data, the public is not being given an option to “opt out” and that could be interpreted as an invasion of privacy.

    I see the risk as, if the public is wholly unaware of how this data they generate is being used who is monitoring for possible privacy issues, breaches of identifying information and overall abuse of power by the people who are mining the data?

    How is it that when I look at the Washington Post online, they know that I looked for a standing fan on Amazon and show me a targeted ad? In some ways it looks like ‘big brother’ is watching! Data is everywhere, but who is really using it and why?

  33. Daube Martin

    Big Data refers to the huge amount of datas that you can find now, through the internet for example and to the analysis of it. By means of software, we can now use this data to enhance the decision making in different field, to use it for private individuals (GPS…). The amount of datas becomes insane, and without efficient software, you can easily miss some information ! And maybe the software will use a wrong correlation between the question and the information in the cloud. In this way, you have to be very careful while using Big Data ! But I think there are more advantages than drawbacks, because as I said before, it’s a very useful mean to find what you’re looking for, to analyze the mountains of data you have, and it really can help you to make decision.

    Big Data can be used everywhere, in each field. We, people, use the computer and its software for everything. We are now able to storage, analyse, search information… in record time. In this way, Big Data’s software can be used everywhere !
    I think that the field where it’s the most useful is the business sector in the opposite to the privat sector. Each company (manufacturer, services, commercial…), each department (Marketing, HR, Research, Engineering..) have to analyse massive information in a particular area, and in this way they can enhance their decision with Big Data’s software. For example to follow the price of raw materials, the place your cargaison is, to analyse your customers’data….
    You can use it in the health field too…
    In one way, everywhere !

    About the privat sector, it’s very useful but in a lower way. Privat persons have lower requirements and don’t need very efficient Big Data’s software.

  34. Karly Froehlick

    Big Data is a vague term that can be described in many ways. It involves technology and all that comes with it. Technology is always evolving, and new technologies or new ways to use technology are being discovered daily. Data can be input into a computer and all types of information known as output is produced. Big Data also involves how this information is used. More and more individuals rely on technology that produces information for making decision through out their day. This information can be used to increase productivity, to track sales, to monitor activities and so much more within a company. This technology is all available on many different devices such as computers and smart phones. It is very easy to access and useful to use. Technology can process data very quickly, within a second; this same process would take humans days to produce the same results. This Big Data already has and will continue to have a major impact on every field. It is available to managers, employees and even to customers of a company. It can make a business more efficient. It can also benefit a consumer by providing information such as where to get the best deal on a major purchase. This step is becoming very common in the process of purchasing a major item. Consumers can use technology to save themselves money.

    Big Data is something everyone relies on for common everyday transactions and decision that we make daily. Decisions are being made solely on data and technology instead of through experiences. This has big impact on how the world works. What will happen if technology can not be used at some point in the future?

  35. Candace Dyck

    For our generation big data can be described as all the new sources of technology. First we use it for the Internet to browse webpages, to write blogs and follow our favorite social media. Secondly we can use it with our smart phones to send your location, use GPS location data or use it for typical information, this could also be personal related or business related.
    Or Thirdly you can use it to create programs such as new and improved software for your companies to help bottom line and top line strategies. And the best part is that the data keeps getting larger and larger, doubling in space or volume every second. Just like the Moore’s law states central processing’s performance will double every 18 months.

    Big data will definitely have impacts on all types of business, Management will be able to organize and track new programs or software. Marketing and sales would be able to examine what the new trend is and who is most willing to purchase, it could also be useful in advertising and getting your company’s message across the world.
    The only downfall with big data is the ability to lose it all, what happens when all the data fails, and that includes the privacy that goes along with it all. Will people and business what to invest in something that any one can get their hands on? The advantages to make this new source of technology will strengthen the business world.

  36. Cole Hofman

    Big Data refers to the increasing ability to improve decision making by accessing and interpreting large amounts of data with ease. This phenomenon will impact all sections of society, from agriculture to business. Being able to make the best business decisions based on the data will result in increased profitability for businesses, with a similar case for agriculture. The more interesting question is where Big Data will have the least impact. Perhaps in areas where even increased technology will still make accessing data difficult or where accessing and interpreting the data was already easy. Perhaps in natural sciences where data collection was difficult and will likely remain so since we can’t exactly have nature plugged into the internet. Of course the area which will be impacted the most by Big Data may be advertising. Advertisements personally targeted to people by reviewing search histories on the internet are just the start. With newer smart TVs connected to the internet, your commercial break may be tailored to best engage you and be different from person to person. The surveillance potential of Big Data may be troubling to many people, as different groups and businesses could use the data collected from you to discriminate or segregate people in accordance with their business interests. Maybe a business won’t want to deal with people who too frequently claim warranties. Whatever the case may be I believe that as long as people are honest with themselves, they should not be concerned with how a company may use data collected on them to target them effectively.

  37. Mel Durupt

    According to the article Big Data is a vague term that represents three main streams of thought:
    1-the available bundle of various technologies (old and new data, the software to analyze, categorize and recall said data, and the expert insight it will provide to interested parties who wish to use that synthesized data to their benefit).
    2-a potential revolution in measurement (“an intermediate representation of science” and “the quantification of the core of what we are”).
    3-a philosophy about how decisions will be made in the future and the affect that will have on individuals and society (managing the risks, like data surveillance, and utilizing the potential benefits is key).
    Big Data will be used in any field where it will contribute to increased efficiency and quality, and decreased costs. More importantly, big data and data-mining strategies will be employed and ultimately have the largest impact in fields where it will generate the most revenue. IT services could be the single biggest beneficiary of the Big Data concept; with massive amounts of raw data readily available, IT can convert various forms of this raw data into usable information for management teams who can make decisions based on a more complete picture and hopefully garner some type of competitive advantage.
    Marketing campaigns, especially on the internet, are now more focused then ever with major companies like Google recording, monitoring and analyzing copious volumes of input from everyday users. Various law enforcement agencies attempting to prevent crime analyze everything from phones to social media use. And finally, as reported in the post even the medical field can benefit from this new business concept.
    Essentially, every facet of business is touched by the mass analyzing of data.

  38. Taylor Galipeau

    Big Data is an upcoming technological advance that will soon be considered the norm. By managing vast amounts of information it can be used by various industries to enhance sales, improve quality and increase efficiency. Everywhere from healthcare to retail this is a tool that can and I predict will be used.
    As mentioned in the article I feel marketing will be the most affected by this advancement. With the ability to collect, sort and interpret vast amounts of data on all types on consumers it will be much easier to personalize marketing. We can already see this through our online searches and ads presented to us on Facebook.
    As for specific industries, I feel this is a marketing technology that can be useful to any and all retail businesses first and foremost. As I mentioned before, it is already being implemented and most of us probably don’t even question why Facebook or Google knows what sort of ads apply to us.
    Of course, as the article suggests, big data can be applied to many different industries. I can see the benefits it has in healthcare and for the government but there is a big question of ethics. I will agree this will have a large impact on many industries but I’m not entirely sure it will be a positive one. Privacy is extremely important to most people and this whole concept is ignoring that right entirely. We can see the benefits very clearly but the consequences are still there. Where is the point where companies will use this technology to do background checks on job candidates? Will there come a time when they can buy information on your internet usage? Is something like this ethical?

  39. Gernot Ruppert

    When I had to describe Big Data to someone I would say that it is a huge accumulation of data that can be analyzed, reviewed for example decision making by using new Software programms.

    What certainly will happen that Big data will get more important over the next years and that the Impact of it will get bigger and bigger. Especially in the field of advertisement it will have an big Impact because if the companies know more about their consumers they can use the data to reach them better. That is already happening now. We see a lot of advertisement that really fit to our interests and needs. Our buying behaviour will also Change a lot due to the fact that it will get easier for People to use the data.

    I think it will not have an Impact on the interaction between people. That means that people won’t use the data for analyzing their friends to make decision afterwards but nevertheless people will start using data for the private affairs more often.

    In my opinion we have to be careful in which hands the data gets and what Kind of data it is. In Germany data protection is a big point and more and more people try to stop the data accumulation. So data should only be accumulated in fields where it is really important to do it and when it will help the Society because I’m not a big fan of giving my data to everyone.

  40. jiabei.chen

    The big data that i thought, is people through measurement, analysis, summary and any research that help people to solve the case or mistake. In addition, the big data will have the huge impact in each area.
    We know people who study marketing need lost of data to help them make decision, make plan, and control the system. In fact, marketing is people who search lots of data about the consumer and company’s operation. Therefore, having a big data is really help them to find what they want and which will help them.
    i was disagree with people who said big data is not impact or least.impact. We have internet which can help people to find what they want and what they request. All the stuff that internet have is a big data. In addition, all the information consist of data.

  41. Tarek Saleh

    I strongly believe Big Data will have impacts on almost all fields, but the key is starting it in one field first, and then elaborating from there. FBI and those type of organizations are what come to mind when I think of this type of data, due to the reward benefits it has on those organizations. Then I believe the health industry is another field that could survive from this idea due to the collection of information and ability to perhaps find viruses and what causes them, providing medical scientists with a wide variety of data.

    The fields that would probably gain the most success out of this would probably be the sales side of business. With this type of data they can really scope in on certain clients and people, creating a high success rate for them and shooting their sales and business through the roof.
    With that being said, I don’t believe everyone should have access to this type of information. I believe it should only be used in important cases like that one video we watched in class about DNA, and also in the health industry.

    I do not believe there is any field that would not benefit from Big Data.

  42. Justin Quintin

    I would describe big data as a new process of measuring, analyzing and applying massive amounts of information through new breakthroughs in data collection, storage, and manipulation. “big data” will be an industry soon.

    I think big data will have an impact on almost every field/industry that will be able and willing to pay for thses services. Marketing and sales are the first fields that come to mind. Imagine being able to analyze massive amounts of consumer data to be able to pinpoint exactly which type of people buy which type of product, at what time of day/month/year, and know which media (print, TV, Social media) to deliver marketing messages to them.

    The benefits of big data could even one day find itself in the arts. Analyzing top 40 hits, chord, note and music combos to create songs that will be instantly successful. A little far fetched, but possible.

    As already touched in the article, big data could have a huge impact on the health industry- being able to mine big data could enable us to find patterns in viruses and bugs that could lead to potential life saving practices.


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